World Exclusive Panasonic PT-AE3000 projector

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Panasonic invite AVForums to sample the new PT-AE3000 LCD projector, boasting 60,000:1 contrast and a neat 2.35:1 picture format feature, with no need to add an anamorphic lens.

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This month I was invited for a one to one meeting with Panasonic to see their newest LCD projector, the PT-AE3000. This was an exclusive scoop for AVForums as I was the only person out with Panasonic to be invited.

This took place in Panasonic's demo facilities and my meeting was with
• Tetsuya Koyama - Category Owner Home Cinema
• Tetsuro Shiota - Chief Engineer Home Cinema
• Hartmut Kulessa - Product Manager Europe
• Steve Lucas – Product specialist.

So, after the introductions, I sat down to a presentation of the new technology being incorporated with the PT-AE3000. The first and probably most important new feature is the Pure Contrast Plate technology (PCP) which eliminates any stray light from the optical path. This helps to increase the contrast available and Panasonic are claiming a staggering 60,000:1 figure. Of course being the type of person I am, contrast figures have to be proven, not merely quoted, so I will comment on the actual performance later. The other added advantage of PCP is the increase in brightness with again a quoted figure of 1600 lumens. As well as PCP there are further improvements to some long standing Panasonic features, such as dynamic iris, smooth screen technology and pure colour filter pro. To round off the optical improvements is a new optical lens path.

Another new feature for this years model is the 100Hz motion picture pro frame creation technology – try saying that after a couple of drinks. This works much in the same way as the technology seen on the companies’ 2008 line of plasmas but optimised for the big screen viewing. It basically interpolates additional frames by analyzing what is happening on the two adjacent frames to create a sharp image with fast moving action. This works by replacing what many would see as a blurred image, with one that looks sharp, detailed and lifelike. As well as the 100Hz variety for Pal playback, there is also a 96Hz mode for 24p from Blu-ray. There is also demo mode which was switched on at this point with the processing switched off on one side and working on the other. I have to say nothing jumped out at me as being un-natural in this variance of the technology, rather the frame creation added smoothness to the image without taking any obvious detail or adding in any artefacts. This is something I would want to test over a longer period of time, but even with some test patterns, including a moving resolution test that we played through the PT-AE3000 I saw nothing that would initially put me off this new technology.

Other new features include a newly upgraded Detail Clarity processor 2 which again works with the focus points of material rather than adding a uniform sharpness. This works rather better than it should, it impressed me on the PT-AE2000 and on the new model it looks just as good, but again these technologies need to be assessed over a longer period than I had at this meeting.

Other technologies present on the last projector from Panasonic also make a return in upgraded form, such as the waveform monitor. This really is a neat gadget once you have the knowledge of how it works, but again there is also an automatic mode which should help novices to see what the feature attempts to do.

And finally we come to a feature which really surprised me; both in its implementation and the fact Panasonic have listened to what people are talking about in terms of home cinema projection – a 2.35:1 zoom feature.
This is being marketed as a budget option to using a cinemascope screen in your cinema room without the need to spend thousands on an anamorphic lens. Now you could do this with any projector on the market to be honest, you just zoom up the image and then fix the focus and off you go. But the draw back is having to manually zoom out again when you switch back to 16:9 material and re-focus the image. The neat thing here with the PT-AE3000 is that you enter the details of you screen and focus points into the memory banks of the projector and add a name to your settings. Then when you want to watch at 2.35:1 on your suitably sized screen you push a button and it does it for you automatically. Now I can hear some projector enthusiasts saying this is a cheat and you’re not using the full panel for the image and you will also lose some brightness, and yes, they are right. However when you factor in that a good quality anamorphic lens starts at around £3k and you also have to find a solution to move this in and out of the light path. So you can see why Panasonic have added the feature and to be honest I found it to be rather good in the image quality stakes with no real drop in quality of brightness. Indeed you could get better results with this option over buying a cheap anamorphic lens.

So finally what did I think when I sat back to watch some movie and SD material. Well let’s just say that the PT-AE3000 left an impression on me – a rare thing these days when you see so much new technology as I do in my day to day job. The contrast levels really have taken a huge leap forward with this projector and it easily gets up there – if not overtaking – a machine like Epsons impressive TW2000. And finally I may have found a dynamic iris I can live with as the new one here certainly did its thing without making itself obvious.
Overall I have been very, very impressed with this £2000 - £2500 projector and its new features (Price to be confirmed). Obviously I am going to reserve final judgement for when we get a review sample through the doors of AVForums towers, but from the short time I have spent with the machine in a good quality demo room at Panasonic HQ, I have to say it looks like being another projector to move the market along in the quality stakes.

We will up date this thread with more information when we get it. The Panasonic PT-AE3000 will be officially announced at IFA ’08 in Berlin Germany.
 
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Shockabuku

Member
Great scoop guys, well done :smashin:. Very interesting 2.35 option in there. Looks like a really nice way to encourage 2.35 at low cost, allowing people to upgrade to an anamorphic lens at a later date if they like it...assuming of course it has an anamorphic stretch mode (the 2000 did, so I guess this has too?).
 

Mad Monk

Active Member
Nice touch with the memory zoom feature. It seems that Panasonic actually listen to their customers.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
I hope the price is right (for me) as this looks like a contender for my 1st projector :smashin:

Adam
 

Manni01

Well-known Member
As this is my first post, hello everyone, and thanks for all the good work, I've been lurking for a long time...
Thanks for the preview, it looks really interesting, any idea about availability in the UK? Also when do you plan to have a review ready for it?
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
release will be around October, review hopefully around that time as well.
 

Upholder

Member
£2000 - £2500 projector... Out of mine and I expect a lot of other peoples reach... not worth the few extra bells and whistles when we can now pay under a grand for a full HD projector that gives fantastic results... IMHO...
 

Manni01

Well-known Member
release will be around October, review hopefully around that time as well.

Thanks Phil:smashin:, I found the other thread in the meantime, it looks more active than this one...

Really looking forward to the review, for me it's between the HD350 and the AE3000...
 

Robbie Razzler

Active Member
Thanks phil, i've been waiting for this projector for a while now, couldn't believe when you had an exclusive video on it. Looks great, keep up the good work:smashin:
 

webly

Active Member
hi guys and gals
cheers phil you ve stopped me from buying the epson ub could you compare these together when you do a review,:lease: :thumbsup: as i ws gonna import the ub then saw the ptae2000 then saw this site and the exclusive link (lucky kid)

ill hold back my sheckles till october 31st and await your expertise review :lesson:
 

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